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First Stanhope Gold Medal to Matthew Webb

Year 1873

Read by John Grandy – Chairman, Royal Humane Society

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On the 22nd of April, as the Steamship Russia was proceeding on her voyage from New York to Liverpool, a stiff breeze blowing, and the ship cutting through the water at the rate of 14 ½ knots, a seaman, named, Michael Hynes, while on the rigging performing his duty, fell overboard. Immediately on perceiving this a fellow sailor, Matthew Webb, jumped overboard and swam to the place where his comrade had disappeared; he was too late, however, and could recover nothing or see anything of the unfortunate man except his cap, which he brought on board. The Steamer was stopped and turned about, a boat lowered and sent to the rescue; after cruising about for nearly half-an-hour they returned to the ship with Webb, who was found swimming about, nearly a mile from the ship; he was not at all exhausted but had suffered somewhat from the cold.

Some kind hearted gentlemen immediately started a subscription for the benefit of the man who had so nobly risked his life to save his comrade. In about an hour £100 was raised. Two more subscriptions were also taken for the benefit of the parents of the man who had lost his life, and for the boat’s crew who went to the rescue.

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